We were taught to never bend a page or write in the margin. My Dad would never allow us to move a book from his library bookshelf unless it was put back in the exact spot and measured to be an inch away from the ledge in perfect alignment with the other books. It was culture shock when I started college and saw my fellow classmates highlighting text books.
As children, my Mom would regularly bring us to the public library to take out children's books. She was a teacher and thus we were encouraged to read beyond our years. Once I learned to read I was eager to jump ahead a few grades in my reading selections. By the end of first grade I often challenged my teachers to allow me to go to a more advanced section of the school library (4th grade level books).
As I progressed through the years I was reading adult fiction and beyond by junior high. My Dad said I gravitated towards the "trash" books as I loved Harold Robbins and Sydney Sheldon. One favorite that stands out is "A Stone for Danny Fisher" by Harold Robbins.
I didn't enjoy non-fiction at that age because I associated this with reading text books or the stress of my Dad's book placement perfection. I wanted to be free to choose books that I wanted to read and perhaps this limited my progression in enjoying fine literature and history while I progressed through high school and college. At that stage in life this book genre was work for me. I wanted to find myself as I read.
Growing into adulthood, however, I have come to expand my reading interests. Seeing more of the world as an adult has increased my curiosity to a wider range of cultures and peoples. I have come to learn that non-fiction and historic novels teach me more about the real world and have helped to expand my horizons beyond where I physically live. My book wishlist has grown to include many historic novels, memoirs and personal development books.
I now acknowledge the deep influences my parents have had on my life and my reading habits and am excited to share more about this on a new podcast where I am the guest speaker.
I hope you will enjoy listening to this as much as I do. Please let me know and perhaps we can meet at Starbucks for coffee sometime to discuss the podcast and recent books we have read.
Wendy is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Needham. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, walking her dog and theater. She is often reading at her local Starbucks in Needham or Mashpee Commons during the summer months.